I think that’s where the ask and the seek parts come in. There is a sequence here that we must pay attention to. These verses are not carte blanche to ask for whatever we want, knowing that if we are persistent enough in our asking, God will eventually break down and give it to us. I mean, what if we come to him asking for a snake or a scorpion? What then?
Perhaps ask does not mean asking for whatever we want, but asking him what he wants. And perhaps seek does not mean seeking our own will and preference, but seeking God’s will and God’s preference. For after we ask God what he wants and seek his will and his way in whatever we might be praying about, then we can knock and knock and knock, and rest assured that when the timing is right he will open the door.
For at times it is just as likely that God’s answer to our deepest prayers might come in the form of a closed door, as it does an opened one. And far be it from us to keep knocking and knocking on a closed door, and not receiving the guidance and direction it has to offer. That is why ask and seek must come first. And that is why Jesus used all three of these words as he was teaching the disciples how to pray.